The Present Perfect Continuous Tense — КиберПедия

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The Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Formation: The Present Perfect Continuous is formed with the help of the auxiliary verb “to be” in the Present Perfect (has/ have been) and the Present Participle of the notional verb (reading).

Markers: - for an hour, for a long time, since 5 o’clock;

- how long, since when.

We use the Present Perfect Continuous to denote:

1. An action which began in the past, has been going on up to the present moment and is going on at the moment of speaking:

Pattern I. I have been studying at University since September.

2. An action which was recently in progress but is not going on at the present moment, but it is connected with the moment of speaking by its result or consequences:

Pattern II. Her eyes are red. I think she has been crying.

3. An action which is emotionally coloured:

Pattern III. I’ve been asking you for years not to be late.


The forms of the Present Perfect Continuous


I have been   speaking English. writing a letter. playing the piano. walking fast. reading a newspaper. playing football.
He My brother Her brother has been
We You The girls have been



I have not (haven’t) been   speaking English. writing a letter. playing the piano. walking fast. reading a newspaper. playing football.
He My sister Her brother has not (hasn’t) been
We You The girls have not (haven’t) been


Has   his wife their friend her mother   been working in the garden? been writing anything? been standing at the window? been reading exercises? been working in the room?
Have the students the children

Exercise 1. Make up interrogative and negative variants of the sentences:

Model: It has been raining since yesterday.

It hasn’t been raining since yesterday.

How long has it been raining?

1. He has been living in London for five years.

2. I have been reading the book since six o’clock.

3. Ann has been waiting for Tom for a long time.

4. Mr. Red has been working at this factory since 1993.

5. He has been sleeping for seven hours.

6. The boys have been playing football since two o’clock.

7. Ann has been listening to music for a long time.

8. I have been working at school since I came to Moscow.

9. Tom has been doing this translation since five o’clock.

10. The girls have been watching TV since early morning.

Exercise 2.Write а question for each situation.

  1. John looks sunburnt. You ask: ( you /sit in the sun)
  2. You have just arrived to meet a friend who is awaiting for you. You ask: (you/ wait/long?)
  3. You meet a friend in the street. His hands and face are dirty. You ask: (What/you/to do?)
  4. A friend of yours is now living in Baker Street. You want to know: (How long/ to live/ in Baker Street)
  5. A friend tells you about his job – he sells computers. You want to know: (How long/ to work?)

Exercise 3.

A) Use the prompts to write sentences in the Present Perfect Continuous with “since” or “for”.

Model: Ann is studying English. She started studying it in 1998.

Ann has been studying English since 1998.

1. It is snowing. It started snowing at five o’clock.

2. They are traveling. They started traveling in June.

3. My mother is cooking dinner. She started cooking at twelve o’clock.

4. He is reading “The Man of Property”. He started reading the book a month ago.

5. Mrs. Smith is writing a book. She started it some time ago.

6. Tom is waiting for his taxi. He called the taxi service 10 minutes ago.

7. I’m doing my home task. I started it at 4 o’clock.

B) Ask many questions to your sentences as possible.

Exercise 4. Write “How long?” questions and answer them with “for” or “since”, using the prompts.

Model: Q: Ann / sit/ in the armchair.

A: An hour.

Q: How long has Ann been sitting in the armchair?

A: She has been sitting in the armchair for an hour.

1. Q: Todd / live/ in London A: about 10 years.

2. Q: Ann /drive/ a car A: about 2 months

3. Q: Nick / ride/ bicycle A: early morning

4. Q: They / travel/ by car A: about a week.

5. Q: I / lie/ in the sun A: four o’clock

6. Q: it rain A: 10 o’clock

7. Q: We / watch/ TV A: Six o’clock.

Exercise 5. Complete the following sentences, using the Present Perfect Continuous:

1. I have been driving …

2. She has been studying …

3. They have been looking after …

4. He has been waiting …

5. Have they been traveling …?

6. Has she been pondering over …?

7. Has Tom been looking for …?

Exercise 6.Read the situations and write two sentences using the words in brackets.

1. Тоm started reading а book two hours ago. Не is still reading it and now he is on page 53. (read / for two hours). (read / 53 pages so far).

2. Linda is from Australia. She is travelling round Europe at the moment. She began her tour three months ago. (travel for three months); She (visit / six countries so far).

3. Jimmy is а tennis player. Не began playing tennis when he was ten years оld. This year he is national champion again – for the fourth time. (to win the national championship four times); (to plау tennis since he was ten).

4. When they left college, Mary and Sue started making films together. They still make films. (to make ten films since they left college); They (to make films since they left college).


Exercise 7. For each situation, ask а question using the words in brackets.

1. You have а friend who is learning Arabic. You ask: (how long / learn / Arabic?)

2. You have just arrived to meet а friend. She is waiting for you. You ask: (how long/ to wait?)

3. You see somebody fishing by the river. You ask: (how many fish/to catch?)

4. Some friends of yours are having а party next week. You ask: (how many people / invite?)

5. А friend of yours is а teacher. You ask :( how long / teach?)

Exercise 8. Put the verb into the more suitable form: present perfect simple (I have done etc.) or continuous (I have been doing etc.).

1. Where have yоu been? (you/play) tennis?

2. Look! Somebody (break) that window.

3. You look tired. (you /work) hard?

4. (you /ever /work) in а factory? 'No, never.'

5. “Jane is away on holiday”. “Oh, is she? Where (she/go)?”

6. Mу brother is an actor. Не (appear) in several films.

7. “Sorry I’m late.” “That's all right. I (not /wait) long.”

Exercise 9.Make up a dialogue. Ask and tell each other about what have you been doing and since our lesson started/ since you finished school/ since you decided to enter the university.


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